By Thad Parsons
Open daily, Summer (Mon-Thu: 9am-6pm, Fri: 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun & Holidays: 10am-1pm) or Winter (Mon-Fri: Same, Sat-Sun & Holidays: By Reservation Only). Tours can be arranged by appointment. Phone +39 (0)577739440.
The Museum at Poggio Antinora is an interesting window into 19th and early 20th century rural Italian life. It was created by the wife of the farm’s current owner, Laura, who is an art historian and museologist. Focusing on the (extremely*) local community and the machines used to produce wine and olive oil, the small museum provides a great window into a part of the Italian past that has been forgotten. While the museum only covers a couple of rooms, it is an interesting diversion from the real reason that one would visit here.
Poggio Antinora perches on the very top of a lovely hillside in the heart of the Chianti district near Gaiole-in-Chianti not far from Sienna. The farm comprises 49 hectares (20 to vineyards, 4 to olives, 8 to seed, and the remainder to woodland) with the farmhouse majestically situated on the top of the hill at over 500 m. above sea level. The house dates to 1234 and the current owner and wine maker, Luca Brandini, represents the 30th generation of the Brandini family to occupy the house and the 29th generation to make wine and oil!
* The social aspects of the museum focus on the tiny village that you drive through on the way to the farmhouse. The focus on the tiny community helps to reinforce the isolated life that many in Italy lived during the 19th and early 20th century.